This Misti Alpaca, a discontinued four-ply baby alpaca I got at a WEBS sale last year, has blossomed into this lovely "Fairy Castle" cardigan for the girls. Very light worsted, and light weight, and soft! This is the third “gansey,” using Brown-Reinsel’s system of proportions for setting the size. I put “gansey” in quotations, because really I used B-R’s sizings and very little else. One would never do a gansey in baby alpaca, nor pock it with such lacy, permeable design features. I knitted the plain bottom section, got heavy bored, wandered through Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury, where I (re-) found her “Gingerbread Castle,” and started immediately. I did her “Cam Cable” for the front panels, and did her “Totem Pole” eyelet pattern for the sleeves. LOVE IT. I like picking patterns as I go along.
And the eyelets outside the button bands are from Kate Gilbert’s “Samantha.”
The bottom picture has the buttons I’ve now sewn on (good taste, Hickory) . Very simple, light, almost dissolving into the sweater.
So, I finished that beauty last week, and immediately knit a little "Baby Surprise Jacket" for the gender-surprise Doyle baby, whose shower I'm driving to in Boston this weekend. Well, I’m a grumpus, because EVERYONE loves the Baby Surprise Jacket, but I’m not a fan of this sweater, though it’s cute enough and will do for the newborn baby .. I did attached i-cord all the way around, even the shoulder seams (with three needle bind-off to get a little eyelet going there), which takes the unfinished look away. I did it asymmetrical (thanks, Ysolda on ravelry.com), kept it gender-surprise with the pastel yellow/green/blue/tan of the yarn. The yarn, Schaefer's Nichole, is soft, washable, springy, very easy to knit with. And the duck buttons enforce its baby appropriateness. I’ll find a little shirt or onesie to put under it, and I’ll have a nice baby shower gift.
And now, I'm off and running on a Mosaic sweater for the girls. After seeing Barbara Walker, the gifted and eminent Barbara Walker, the Barbara Walker who "unvented" the mosaic, to counter her dislike of fair isle, posing in her own mosaic sweater, in her interview in Fall, 2010's Interweave Knits, I thought, ah ha, a nice way to continue using my ridiculously large stash of Cascade Eco-Wool. And so, here I go, once again using only the sizing proportions from Brown-Reinsel, choosing different mosaic patterns (from Walker's Second Treasury), and knitting and slipping. I put this in-progress piece atop my Tunisian rug, which will now become inspiration for patterning: